Experiments in a water tunnel have been carried out on low-aspect-ratio rectangular wings undergoing a smallamplitude harmonic plunge motion at Reynolds numbers 10,000 and 20,000.Aseries of measurement techniques have been used, including force measurements, hot film, particle image velocimetry, and volumetric velocimetry measurements, to study the lift enhancement as a function of forcing frequency. Multiple peaks in the time-averaged lift have been observed, occurring at frequencies in the order of natural vortex-shedding frequencies of the stationary wings. It is postulated that interaction between the leading-edge and trailing-edge vortices contributes to the selection of the optimal frequencies for the time-averaged lift. At a specific Strouhal number, an adverse interaction between the vortices results in a vortex dipole that directs flow upstream. A comparison between a NACA 0012 and flat-plate profile provides further insight into the advantages and disadvantages of using a thinner profile in low-Reynoldsnumber flows.
Calderon, D. E., Wang, Z., & Gursul, I. (2013). Lift-enhancing vortex flows generated by plunging rectangular wings with small amplitude. AIAA Journal, 51(12), 2953-2964. https://doi.org/10.2514/1.J052600